Technology can't replace humans -- especially when it comes to insurance.

However, a recent article published in VentureBeat, called "How chatbots can settle an insurance claim in 3 seconds," challenged this idea. Citing AmazonGo, the article presented the idea that chatbots, those "smart" robots a consumer texts with, offer a fast and convenient option that is especially appealing in the insurance industry. Writer Alex Sun argues that, since the insurance claims process is usually less than pleasant, chatbots make filing claims easier for both insurers and the insured:

"Unlike Amazon, and many other product and service providers, insurance companies have fewer opportunities to interact with customers, and those opportunities are less rewarding. Insurance is traditionally a “selling” process, not a “shopping” process, and claims are the necessary outcome of an unfortunate event. For insurers looking to turn the tables on a less-than-ideal dynamic, artificial intelligence can transform both the customer experience and the claims process."

Citing the article's eponymous 3-second example, Sun touts the ease and speed with which Lemonade Insurance's AI Agent, Jim, recently broke an insurance filing world-record. However, he admits that Lemonade's claim was relatively simple; many claims filed by customers are not. The article concludes that AI/chatbots need to go a long way before becoming universally adopted by insurance companies; however, the Lemonade victory is compelling and hopeful for the future.

Sun is correct about the function of insurance: ideally, it's something that won't ever be used. However, while he's correct in calling the claims process "less rewarding" for both parties, it's important for customers to be heard. And that means talking to a human.

As Sun admits, most claims are not cut-and-dry. Every case is unique, and that's why we believe in the importance of customer service. Chatbots may be "smart" in machine terms, but insurance is a business about people. And, as studies have found, customers are happiest when they can deal directly with their own representative.

Photo credit: Franchise Opportunities
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